What Kind of Documents Need to Be Notarized?


The process of having a document or signature authenticated by a notary public is known as notarization. This method makes the document or signature legally binding and helps avoid fraud.

If you are unfamiliar with the notarization process, it can be challenging to determine which documents require notarization and why. To help, there’s a guide below on the documents that typically require a notary’s signature.

Documents That Require Notarization

Legal Documents

Notarization is often required for legal documents such as contracts, deeds, wills, and powers of attorney. Notarization of legally binding documents helps deter forgery and confirms the signers are who they claim to be.

Financial Documents

Loan, mortgage, and leasing agreements are all examples of financial papers that may need to be notarized. Verifying the legitimacy of these papers is crucial since they deal with substantial quantities of money and might have far-reaching monetary consequences.

Medical Documents

Notarization may be necessary for advanced directives and living wills, two types of medical papers. These papers will express your healthcare preferences if you cannot speak for yourself, and the legal effect may be ensured by having the papers notarized.

Government Documents

Notarization is required for official documents, such as passports, Visa applications, and immigration papers. Having these papers notarized may assist in ensuring they are legitimate and stop fraud.


An affidavit is a sworn declaration used as evidence in legal proceedings. Affidavits must be notarized to verify the statement as true and correct.

Business Documents

Articles of incorporation, stock certificates, and annual reports are just a few examples of business papers that need to be notarized. Notarization makes these papers legally enforceable and protects against forgery.

Educational Documents

Transcripts and diplomas are two examples of school records that could need to be notarized. Having these papers notarized may assist in ensuring they are legitimate and stop fraud.

Personal Documents

Notarization is required for several legal documents, including marriage and divorce certificates. Notarization helps guarantee the validity of these important legal documents.

There are a lot of different types of documents that may require notarization. Therefore, you will likely need a document notarized at some point in your life. A quick search for a “notary near me” can help you find a notary public in your area who can guide you through the process and ensure your document is properly notarized.

Factors to Consider About Notarization

Type of Document

A notary is not required to witness every document. Most real estate and legal documents, including mortgages, deeds, and powers of attorney, need to be notarized before they may be legally binding. Notarization is unnecessary for other papers, such as letters between friends or love notes.

Notary’s Jurisdiction

Notaries are authorized to operate within specific jurisdictions, typically a state or a region. It’s important to ensure that the notary public you work with is authorized to notarize documents within the jurisdiction where the document will be used.


A notary public’s first step in notarizing a document is to confirm the signer’s identity. In most cases, you must provide official picture identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, to prove your identity.

Benefits of Notarization

Legitimacy and Validity

A document’s authenticity and legal standing are established upon its notarization. A notarial stamp proves that a document is legitimate and that all parties to a transaction have signed off on its terms.

Prevents Fraud

In addition to establishing the signer’s identity, a notary public checks to see whether they signed the document voluntarily and with full understanding. If a notary believes a document was signed under duress or coercion, they must legally refuse to notarize it.

Reduces Legal Risks

Some deals, including real estate, money, or contracts, are legally safer if notarized. Documents notarized by a public notary are far less likely to be disputed in court.

International Acceptance

Legal papers must be notarized in many jurisdictions before being accepted in court. If you want your diplomas and licenses to be valid in a foreign nation, you may need to have them notarized.

Peace of Mind

The signer and receiver may rest easy when a document is notarized. By having a witness present during the signing, both parties can be assured that the document is legitimate and legally enforceable.


In addition to removing the requirement for further government or regulatory body verification, notarization also helps reduce the processing time for the document.


The notarization of documents is a crucial step in establishing their legitimacy and credibility. Notarization is required for different documents in different contexts and for different reasons. If you are still determining whether or not a certain document requires notarization, you should consult a notary public.

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